metal + hardcore
pop punk + alt-rock
indie spins


V2 Restructured, White Stripes, Moby Become Free Agents

Sheridan Square has basically shuttered its frontline V2 record business as part of restructuring to focus on its catalog releases and the future opportunities presented by digital distribution. On January 12, the company let go its V2 staff, including president Andy Gershon, and will reorganize the business in its Nashville office, where the company’s COO Michael Olsen will oversee the catalog business. About 35 people are believed to have lost their jobs as part of the restructuring. As part of that move, the company will retain the White Stripes catalog, but will no longer issue new music by the duo or other frontline artists such as Moby or the Raconteurs, sources say. The only genre the company plans to participate in the frontline going forward is gospel. Gershon confirmed that he will “not be a part of V2 going forward” due to the restructuring, but says the label has not shut down. It will be primarily a catalog label. “I wish the best for everybody that’s still left at V2 and Sheridan Square,” he says. Sources familiar with the situation say that the principals, including Redux partners — Joe Bianco, Anil Narang and Joe Pretlow — and the Stephens Group, which bought into the company last July during a financial restructuring, are expected to invest more funds to finance further catalog acquisitions. In fact, the original game plan when Redux was formed in 2003 was to avoid the frontline business and do a catalog roll-up. Since then, Sheridan Square, the name under which the company operates, has spent an estimated $43 million acquiring indie labels V2 North America, Compendia and Artemis; distributor Musicrama; and certain catalog assets of Tone-Cool Records, Triloca, Ropeadope Records and Vanguard Classical. In addition to the catalog, the company is looking for ways to grow business digitally. Part of that is said to be in talks that could include a merger or investment with a company that is pursuing a similar strategy in the video business.

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